The BuioMetria Partecipativa (BMP) project has been involved since 2008 in raising awareness on the issue of light pollution, collecting data on this phenomenon through citizen science networks, and promoting “dark sky” areas characterized by the good quality of the night sky. The collection of observations of this kind can be done throughout the year, but the summer season clearly facilitates the participation of non-experts. With BMP we have launched several summer campaigns, usually focused on specific areas. For example, in 2012 with some instruments located in various locations in the Gulf of Follonica, or in 2017 with various measures throughout the Tuscan coast from Versilia to Maremma (plus some of the islands of the Tuscan archipelago).
As a 2019 summer campaign, we will have the honor of hosting a mission to Italy by Zoltán Kolláth, professor of astrophysics at the Savaria University Center, Eötvös Loránd University, Szombathely, Hungary between 24 and 29 July. Prof. Kolláth is one of the highest international authorities in the field of light pollution studies, as well as in the promotion of the night sky as a resource. He was the creator of one of the first international star parks in Europe, the Zselic landscape protection area, and has for many years been a driving force in protecting night skies in Hungary, with the recognition of three parks certified by the International Dark Sky Association.
At the moment, the professor is responsible for a large national project for the development of scientific research on all aspects of light pollution, including the creation of new sustainable lighting systems. As an astrophysicist, he deals with the dynamics of pulsating stars. He is also very active in the dissemination in this sector, for example taking care of the soundtrack of astronomical signals that have been used in exhibitions and musical compositions, including a piece by John Legend.
The mission in Tuscany stems from a relationship established by the BMP with Prof. Kolláth in 2013 and will lead the scientist to visit some sites in Southern Tuscany. This region in Italy is one of the areas with the best quality of the night sky, given that Italy stands out as a country with not so good conditions for light pollution, compared to other states with similar development conditions, as shown by recent studies.
During the mission, the professor will give some outreach presentations on the topics he has studied for over twenty years and will conduct a series of activities to detect and measure the quality of the night sky with high-level scientific instruments. The header image of this article shows an example of an all-sky immage acquired by the professor on the island of Capraia, during the first international symposium on protection and promotion of the night sky in Italy. These measurement will consolidate and expand the observations made by Professor Kolláth in this area in 2015, when he was part of a shorter campaign organised by BuioMetria Partecipativa and the National Research Council from Florence in the context of a European project, with activities in the Farma Valley and in the Tuscan capital.
The actual program of presentations and observation sites in Tuscany will be announced in early July.
After the mission in Tuscany, prof. Kolláth will hold a further event in Trentino, at the Edmund Mach Foundation in San Michele all’Adige, also as part of the initiatives promoted by the BuioMetria Participativa, in the framework of interdisciplinarity and relations among different territories which is one of the cornerstones of the BMP project.
Should you be interested in taking part in the 2019 BuioMetria Summer Campaign, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +393317539228.